Amazon, Walmart Win Big During the Cyber 5

Amazon and Walmart, the top 2 names in retail, claim the bulk of all Cyber 5 2022 sales.

Most of 2022's Cyber 5 sales totals are attributed to Amazon and Walmart.
Most of 2022’s Cyber 5 sales totals are attributed to Amazon and Walmart.

The Cyber 5, a relatively new addition to the retail lexicon, refers to the 5-day stretch between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. Its introduction is due to the sharp rise of eCommerce during the mid-2010s, especially as it pertains to the already-frantic end-of-year holiday shopping season. The COVID pandemic gave eCommerce another meteoric rise in prominence as the consumer economy literally depended on the Internet for survival. Thus, greater emphasis was placed on the holiday shopping season; especially, during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the Cyber 5.

2022’s holiday shopping season would not be deterred by record inflation, supply chain disruptions, and increasing social, political, and economic instability. Black Friday and Cyber Monday both went on to shatter records with the largest sales totals in eCommerce history to date. In the US alone, Black Friday online sales totaled $9.12 billion with an additional $11.3 billion brought in on Cyber Monday.

Amazon and Walmart were the only 2 retailers in the top 5 Cyber 5 performers to break 4% of the sales share.
Amazon and Walmart were the only 2 retailers in the top 5 Cyber 5 performers to break 4% of the sales share.

2022’s Cyber 5 saw a 4% increase over 2021 with online sales reaching $35.27 billion. Retail goliaths Amazon and Walmart were responsible for the largest chunk of Cyber 5 sales. Numerator reported that Amazon took in nearly 18% of total sales and Walmart accounted for 14% of all Cyber 5 sales in 2022. Both retailers were the only ones to exceed 4% as the next 3 competitors in the top 5–Costco, Kroeger, and Target–were only able to achieve 3.8%, 3.7%, and 3.4% respectively.

Amazon and Walmart Focus on Opposite Demographics

Walmart outperformed Amazon with the largest share of sales coming from low-income households.
Walmart outperformed Amazon with the largest share of sales coming from low-income households.

As the top breadwinners for 2022’s Cyber 5, Amazon and Walmart successfully targeted and won over certain key demographics. Amazon and Walmart both present themselves as ‘everything and anything’-type retailers, so it’d be natural to assume that they’d both chase the same customer. It turns out that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Amazon’s key demographics were youth, higher income, and Asian households. The most popular categories of products sold during the Cyber 5 were Home, Fashion, Toys, Beauty, and Amazon Devices and tech products such as the Amazon Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick, and Apple AirPods were the most popular.

Walmart was the go-to for low-income households. Their 14% of all Cyber 5 sales came from a 19.1% share of low-income consumers, versus Amazon’s 13.3% and Dollar General’s 4.1%. Just outside of the top 5 Cyber 5 winners was Best Buy, whose 2% share of sales was attributed to Gen-Z and Hispanic consumers. Strangely enough, while Amazon netted the most sales overall and Walmart had a clear sales advantage with low-income customers that even Amazon’s figures, Best Buy had the highest average item price of $168.47 over Amazon’s $33.31. Even Kohl’s had higher average item prices than Amazon at $34.97. Keep in mind that this information could be taken two separate ways: customers purchasing higher-priced, more expensive items at Best Buy and Kohl’s or Amazon offering steeper discounts and better bargains than both retailers. Considering Amazon’s domination of Cyber 5 2022, interpretation leans towards the latter.

All Want the Youth Market

The hottest demographic for all of eCommerce this year and in the coming years is the youth market. In particular, Gen-Z (born between 1995 and 2010) and the Millennials (between 1977 and 1994) as both groups combined account for almost $3 trillion in spending power. In the 25-40 age bracket, 66.6% of young shoppers do the majority of their shopping online and the types of product categories from which they purchase tend to be scattered; there is no set pattern to be found in their purchasing preferences. According to Numerator’s survey, Amazon underperforms among Gen-X (1965 – 1976), the boomers (1946 – 1964), and older although they did manage to increase their share of the boomers to 15.1%, up 8% from 2021.

Cyber 5 Sales Typically Originate Online

Numerator’s survey also showed that 41% of Cyber 5 consumers made most, if not all, of their purchases online. Of the 4,002 shoppers surveyed, 90% cited inflation as having the most impact over their holiday shopping plans and 37% of consumers said they purchased more online during the Cyber 5 2022 than ever before. Convenience, avoidance of mass in-store shopping crowds, and greater availability of better deals and sales were the driving factors towards the preference to shop over the Internet.

5 Points of Interest from the Cyber 5

  • 41% of consumers bought more online than in-store during the 2022 Cyber 5.
  • Black Friday was the most successful sales day of the Cyber 5.
  • Amazon accounted for the majority of all 2022’s Cyber 5 sales @ 17.7%.
  • Walmart accounted for the second-largest slice of 2022’s Cyber 5 sales @ 14%.
  • Walmart had the largest share of Cyber 5 sales (19.1%) from low-income consumers among major retailers, including Amazon (13.3%).

Amazon, Walmart, and The Importance of Going Omnichannel

The concept of third-party marketplaces was introduced by Amazon in the year 2000. This allowed anyone, from garage-based small businesses to global brands, to sell on their website. Amazon Marketplace competed directly with eBay, which originated as private individual listings that eventually included established brands selling directly to the consumer. In 2009, Walmart entered the third-party marketplace fray with the Walmart Marketplace. It was initially intended as a supplemental outlet for products from a select group of affiliated retailers. The Walmart venture into eCommerce was somewhat successful, but Amazon and eBay remained the long-standing leaders. That was until 2016 after Walmart had acquired and brought in an additional 8,000 new sellers from there and into the Walmart Marketplace. Today, there are 150,000 unique Walmart Marketplace merchants.

Over the past few years, e-commerce has grown and expanded rapidly, but the COVID pandemic, by far, has had the biggest impact on its growth. In the past, online shoppers bought products directly from websites. Today, shoppers find their products through social media, Google, and third-party marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, and Walmart. This is omnichannel retail in a nutshell. Omnichannel retail enables businesses to meet their customers wherever they are offline, making it one of the most effective ways to increase customer satisfaction. In an omnichannel retail environment, you can offer your customers the same shopping experience on social media, third parties, etc. as they would have on your retail website. Omnichannel retail most certainly played a part in Amazon and Walmart’s dominion over 2022’s Cyber 5 and your business can also benefit by going omnichannel.

Additional Reading

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